Mission Waco leader to speak

Jimmy Dorrell, co-founder and executive director of Mission Waco and a prominent voice for Christian community development, will speak in Northwestern College’s chapel services on Tuesday, Oct. 5, at 11:05 a.m. and Wednesday, Oct. 6, at 10:05 a.m. The public is invited to attend.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in religion from Baylor University and a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dorrell and his wife, Janet, bought a deteriorating house in the middle of a blighted neighborhood in Waco, Texas, and sought to minister to the poor living among them.

Mission Waco, founded on the Dorrells’ passion for the marginalized and for mobilizing the middle class to become involved in the lives of the poor, now offers classes from job training to dance and drama. The ministry also provides shelter for the homeless, affordable housing, substance-abuse treatment, a coffee shop for training workers, and other programs. Several Northwestern College students have interned with the ministry over the last few summers.

Dorrell is also pastor of Church Under the Bridge, a multicultural church for homeless, low-income and other community members under the Interstate 35 bridge in Waco. What started in 1992 with a few Christians getting to know some homeless men sleeping under the bridge turned into a Bible study for a small group. Today over 300 people gather weekly to worship God.

“The campus can learn from Jimmy Dorrell’s life dedicated to incarnational ministry among the underserved—serving others by sharing the good news of Christ through relationships and empowerment opportunities,” says Barb Dewald, Northwestern’s associate dean for spiritual formation. 

Dorrell, who has earned a master’s degree in environmental studies from Baylor and a doctorate in ministry from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, is the author of Trolls and Truth: 14 Realities About Today’s Church That We Don’t Want to See. He and his wife wrote Plunge2Poverty: An Intensive Poverty Simulation Experience.

An instructor at Baylor University and Truett Seminary, Dorrell is on the advisory board of the Christian Community Development Association. He has received the Family of the Year Award from the Waco Conference of Christians and Jews, the Citizen of the Year Award from the Waco chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, and Baylor University’s Abner McCall Humanitarian Award.